“What does this mean for disabled people who require social care support?” – VODG responds to ADASS Budget Survey 2020

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has today released its annual budget survey for 2020, which describes the significant impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on the financial state of adult social care services.

The report is published alongside the ADASS Coronavirus Survey report published on 11 June.

Commenting on today’s publication, Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group said:

“We all value social care that enables people to live fulfilling and independent lives. These are services embedded within local communities. It is clear from ADASS that these services are under threat. In part because of the increased costs associated in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic but also because of the long-standing underinvestment in the sector by central government. For people who rely on social care, this means that unmet need may continue to rise.

“Just as directors of adult social services have no confidence in their budgets being sufficient to meet all of their statutory duties, so do voluntary sector providers who are questioning how long services can continue without a clear direction in their funding.

“The funding provided from central government to date, which was aimed at alleviating the financial pressures faced by local authorities during the pandemic, has simply not been enough – a stark reality laid bare in the findings of this survey.

“As an infrastructure body of more than 100 voluntary sector organisations supporting disabled people across England, we share ADASS’ concerns about the long-term sustainability of the social care system and continue to ask, “what does this mean for disabled people who require social care support?”

“Providers now face ongoing significant financial pressures, including continued use of PPE, and workforce costs. The temporary funding that has been made available via the Emergency Fund and Infection Control Fund is simply not enough and will soon run out, if it has not already done so. We are continuing to ask, ‘what next’?”

“We welcome the focus ADASS gave to exploring how local authorities have supported social care providers during the pandemic. We are aware that there has been a varied approach across the country with differing levels of engagement from local authorities and a postcode lottery of funding measures.

“This report is the latest research to highlight the profound impact the pandemic has had on social care and the urgent need for wide-scale reform. Government has in its power the potential to rebuild a sustainable social care system that priorities solutions that work for everyone – now is the time to act.”